DEG a Venue to Showcase Efforts

Compliance Makes Good Stories

Our previous EXPLORER column (September) stated that the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) now stands poised at a critical crossroads in its history.

The article summarized the excitement surrounding the DEG, the new look and content of Environmental Geosciences (EG) and, in particular, the vital role that environmental issues play in all aspects of the petroleum and energy minerals industry.

We reminded you that DEG's mission to AAPG was to aid, educate, communicate, promote and showcase environmental issues for our members. In this light, and with the ever-increasing importance of environmental issues in our industry, the question was asked, "Why is DEG membership declining?"


In this column I'd like to briefly focus on how AAPG/DEG members and their companies can benefit from and utilize DEG to showcase the multitude of environmental success stories they spend so much time, money and effort striving so diligently to achieve.

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Our previous EXPLORER column (September) stated that the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) now stands poised at a critical crossroads in its history.

The article summarized the excitement surrounding the DEG, the new look and content of Environmental Geosciences (EG) and, in particular, the vital role that environmental issues play in all aspects of the petroleum and energy minerals industry.

We reminded you that DEG's mission to AAPG was to aid, educate, communicate, promote and showcase environmental issues for our members. In this light, and with the ever-increasing importance of environmental issues in our industry, the question was asked, "Why is DEG membership declining?"


In this column I'd like to briefly focus on how AAPG/DEG members and their companies can benefit from and utilize DEG to showcase the multitude of environmental success stories they spend so much time, money and effort striving so diligently to achieve.

Unfortunately, very few AAPG member companies utilize the DEG and this awesome journal as a platform for showcasing the "green" side of our industry.

As a former environmental geologist for a major petroleum company, and now as an environmental consultant to Fortune 500 companies, I know that some managers and lawyers may get nervous about what might be perceived as "airing dirty laundry" when it comes to publicizing environmental compliance. However, it is important to realize that the majority of any company's portfolio of environmental projects is fully disclosable public information, having been submitted and filed with any number of different regulatory agencies or commissions.

Both onshore and offshore, from seismic acquisition to well permitting, from drilling to abandonment, from mine development planning to land reclamation, from exploration to production, from refining to transport, from historical operations to yesterday's accidental release, from waste reduction to prevention, AAPG member companies expend considerable effort and capital complying with environmental regulations and requirements. Even though environmental compliance is foundational to a successful energy and minerals industry, most environmental professionals labor in relative obscurity, quietly paving the way for the core business ventures they support. Only rarely are environmental issues publicized — and most such cases are negatively portrayed.

So why not publicize all the myriad successes we as an industry, we as a company and/or we as environmental professionals achieve in the environmental arena?

Indeed, EG is a respected and highly effective mechanism by which to receive positive press and due credit for all of the time, money and effort you and your company spends protecting the environment and meeting regulatory requirements.

The individual environmental professional, the company and the energy industry all benefit from these types of positive stories!

Take credit where credit is due!


I'd like to invite you to submit your company's environmental success stories for publication and for technical session presentation at sectional, annual and international meetings. Manuscripts may be submitted online at http://deg.aapg.org/journal.cfm. Let's make the EG journal and DEG technical sessions the default communication platforms for all AAPG member companies to showcase their environmental success stories!

I personally encourage and challenge each of you to actively promote and champion DEG membership and support within your company and amongst your professional colleagues and peers — talk to your friends, co-workers, supervisors and managers!

It is plain to see that the livelihood of every single member of AAPG is affected either directly or indirectly by environmental issues related to the industry in which we work. Therefore, it is in every AAPG member's best interest to actively support DEG's mission.

From independents to majors, from students to professors, from consultants to regulators — we all win by showcasing, communicating and sharing our collective knowledge and environmental success stories.

DEG is for everyone in AAPG! Come GROW with us!

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